21 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Book Summary


Writing a book summary can be daunting. When summarizing a book, accuracy, and brevity come into play, as does the ability to clearly outline the main plot points. To ensure that you provide a comprehensive and accurate summary, it’s essential to steer clear of the below common mistakes that can result in an inadequate summary.

1. Failing to Include Relevant Information

It’s crucial to provide all pertinent details when summarizing a significant literary work to give the reader the whole picture. Remember to include important story moments or passages that provide light on the characters’ motives and interactions with one another.

2. Not Providing an Introduction to the Novel

Readers should be provided with a rudimentary synopsis of the narrative and setting in the form of an introduction before the work is summarized. The reader will have enough context and background information from reading this to comprehend what happens next.

3. Describing the Plot in Too Much Detail

Summaries should be brief and direct. Only give away a little information, particularly about the lesser subplots, or your summary may end up sounding more like a review than an accurate and succinct overview.

4. Focusing Too Heavily on Characters

Providing a few character comments is helpful when summarizing a book, but it’s okay to go into extensive depth about each one. This will make the summary longer and take attention away from the important themes.

5. Not Offering a Succinct Summary


Given that a summary should be quick and to the point, this is the most crucial error to avoid. Summaries should be prepared in sufficient depth to convey the plot without giving too much away.

6. Introducing the Ending First

Although it may be tempting to provide a summary of the novel’s conclusion first, this should always come last. In this manner, the reader may enjoy the exciting moments without being aware of what would come next.

7. Not Offering a Clearly Defined Plot Arc

Every book should have a distinct story arc. The synopsis must reflect this. Avoid making the reader uncomfortable with a hazy or disjointed recounting of the action. Explain to readers how the book begins, what happens in between, and how it all finishes.

8. Describing Characters Offhandedly

It’s critical to give readers a feel of the characters in the summary by describing them in a manner that (in just a few words) brings them to life. Only present them in a general way or with an explanation; doing so will result in a clear and reliable summary.

9. Focusing Too Heavily on Themes

Although themes are significant, the summary shouldn’t be too devoted to them. If themes are included, they should be understated and handled in a manner that enhances rather than detracts from the novel’s storyline.

10. Not Describing the Setting


The other common mistake to avoid while writing a book summary is failing to describe the book setting. It’s crucial to enlighten readers about the location, including the era, the town where the tale is set, and other crucial details that give the book depth and meaning.

11. Ignoring Quotes That Provide Insight

When summarizing a book, quotes are very helpful since they provide readers with an understanding of the significant story themes. Include any quotations in your synopsis and explain their significance if they effectively capture the story’s main ideas.

12. Differing Too Much From the Novel

It’s crucial to stick to the main narrative of the work while summarizing it and avoid creating any additional storylines or characters. If a new element is added, be careful to note that it is entirely fictitious and does not correspond to the novel’s real narrative.

13. Too Many Different Summarizing Techniques

There are many ways to summarize a book, but it’s crucial to choose the one that fits the text the best and use it consistently. Combining methods could result in a messy summary.

14. Not Answering the “Whos,” “What,” and “Where”

The fundamental issues of who the characters are, their tiny world, and where the tale is taking place should all be addressed in summaries. Readers could be clearer with these clarifications, and the overall overview might not be comprehensive.

15. Too Much Dialogue


More dialogue might stifle the summary’s energy. Use dialogue sparingly and only when it’s required to set the scene or convey a story element.

16. Not Critiquing or Providing an Opinion

Avoid summaries at all costs since they are not intended to be reviews or expressions of opinion about the book. Try to avoid using adjectives like “good,” “bad,” or “awesome” while describing the book.

17. Providing Too Much Opinion

A personal perspective shouldn’t be totally disregarded. However, the summary still has to represent the reader’s understanding of the narrative, so it should be included in a minor manner. A concluding statement that expresses your thoughts on the narrative helps bring everything together.

18. Not Providing Transitions Between Points

It’s crucial to give transitions between main points and story twists since summaries should flow organically. Plot twists that occur suddenly might need to be clarified and hinder the reader’s understanding.

19. Not Mentioning the Title of the Novel

Even though it can appear superfluous, it’s nonetheless crucial to state the novel’s title. Reminding the reader of the title may help them stay focused on the summary by assisting them in remembering what they’re reading.

20. Not Satisfying the Reader’s Curiosity


It’s crucial to make the reader desire to read the rest of the book. Provide only a little information in summaries. They should pique the reader’s interest.

21. Not Reflecting on Themes

The summary should include the topics rather than overemphasize them. At the conclusion of the summary, consider a few of the most crucial topics to help the reader comprehend the moral lessons the book is trying to convey.

Even if it’s not an easy task, you may create an accurate and comprehensive book summary if you are aware of the common mistakes to avoid. Ascertain that the summary is succinct and direct, that all relevant information is included, and that all crucial themes are addressed.

You can be sure that your summary will be top-notch and provide the reader with a full analysis of the book by keeping an eye out for these mistakes. However, if you still find it difficult, you can consider hiring an online tutor to help you craft a summary of to kill a Mockingbird.

In conclusion, there are a number of mistakes you should avoid making while writing a book description, to sum up. Include all pertinent details, provide a brief overview, concentrate on narrative aspects rather than characters, and consider the novel’s primary themes. One may write a clear and succinct summary of the book they are summarizing by being aware of these typical errors and actively attempting to avoid them.

Related posts

6 Signs Your Essay Needs to Be Rewritten

Alan Goldberg

The Science of Fun: How Quizzes Boost Your Cognitive Skills?

Alexa Burgess

5 Tips and Tricks to Get Your Assignments Done Fast

Alan Goldberg